Atiku’s U.S. visit

January 24, 2019 Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS

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By

Abba Dukawa

 

 

‘Nigerians should ask Atiku why he has not visited the United States since he left office, if he has no case to answer’O Obasenjo, Sep 11, 2013.

 

 

Finally the People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate visited the United States and returned to Nigeria, the issues of visiting the U.S. no longer an issue, as well as clearing the minds of wailers. The courageous Waziri attended Sunday’s presidential debate organized by the Nigeria Election Debate Group, NEDG, in conjunction with the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, BON, the aim being for candidates to showcase themselves to the electorate.

 

However, Atiku Abubakar walked away from the debate since his main challenger, the incumbent president, did not attend. Coming back to his mission to the U.S., he was able to meet with U.S. administration officials and business leaders.

 

The People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate unveiled his mission in the United States, business leaders saying this was to create the right economic atmosphere for American investers to return to Nigeria at a rate and qunatity that we had before the current Nigerian administration’s policies almost halted the flow of Foreign Direct Investments to the country.

 

He also revealed his reason for running for the office of President of Nigeria because of his belief that Nigeria has what it takes to be the beacon of hope for the black race and a leading nation of reckoning in the international community.

 

The current Nigerian administration has allowed the relationship with our long-standing friends and partners to deteriorate and this has in turn had unfortunate consequences for our economy.

 

At the gathering he reiterated his foreign relations policy that had been meticulously and delicately built for decades and was allowed to deteriorate because the incumbent administration mistook their personal interests as the interest of Nigeria and allowed short term goals to dominate their foreign policies.

 

New friendships should not be made at the cost of old friendships. It is not an either-or situation. Right from independence, Nigeria has nurtured a policy of non-alignment. We borrowed from the Lincoln policy of malice toward none and charity for all. Sadly, that policy has suffered major setbacks in the last four years.

 

As a leader in business, he is cognizant of the fact that both Western and Oriental nations will be making the transition from fossil fuels to electric powered vehicles and other green energies over the course of the next two decades. This means that Nigeria’s oil has a limited shelf life.

 

To be forewarned is to be forearmed and we must, as a nation, begin to make the transition from an oil economy to a modern economy based on manufacturing and value-added agricultural chain.

 

The message he took to the United States business community is not a new message. In his opinion editorial in the British media (Beyond Brexit – Nigeria wants a new trade deal with Britain), Waziri opined that Brexit is an opportunity for Nigeria and the United Kingdom to have a Big Ambitious Free Trade Agreement.

 

It is only common sense, in 2014, the African continent as a whole earned $2.4 billion from coffee grown in Africa and shipped mainly to Europe. That sounds impressive. However, one nation alone, Germany, made $3.8 billion from re-exporting Africa’s coffee in 2014.

 

As a businessman, he see this and cannot allow it to continue. It is unconscionable, but situations like these will not stop unless Nigeria and Africa have leadership that thinks business instead of aid and capital instead of loans.

 

Nigeria has perhaps the highest populations of youths as a segment of the total population in the world. Already, we have the unfortunate distinction of being the world headquarters for extreme poverty. Nigeria under him cannot afford business as usual.

 

As a presidential candidate and also a businessman Atiku aims to use his experience to change and transform Nigeria from a consumer nation to a prosumer nation (a nation that consumes what it produces).

 

Atiku Abubakar told U.S. administration officials and business leaders his vision in improving the two country trade relationship between the two strategic countries. Apart from the oil business he will ensure Nigeria’s untapped rich mining sectors are utilized, citing the example of Kaduna state being rich with gold ore and also aims to find a market in the U.S. for some of the half a million shoes manufactured in Nigeria’s cities of Kano and Aba every day. He also urged Procter and Gamble to reopen their $300 million Nigerian plant which they shut down last year, saying Nigeria need General Electric to reverse their $2.7 billion pull out of Nigeria. His travels in Europe and America are to sell the Nigeria ‘that I know to the world.’

 

Nigeria is a nation with hardworking and the smartest working youthful population on earth, not as someone somewhere said that Nigeria’s youth are the laziest as he is in the best position to know, that being one of the single largest employers of Nigeria’s youths, the nation will be open for business much more than oil, he emphasized.

 

Atiku Abubakar said he is certain he will be successful in selling this Nigeria to the world, and the world will come to Nigeria for business. That is why I am in America. Because I believe in jobs, opportunity, being united and security and it is time Nigeria and all Nigerians finally have the opportunity to realize their true potential.

 

 

 

 

Abba Dukawa

A Kano based media practitioner and public commentator for 13 years with many articles published by a number of online mediums and print media. 

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